TLD Registry Ltd., owner and operator of two fully Chinese domain name extensions, .在线 (Dot Chinese Online) and . 中文网 (Dot Chinese Website), announced that its Beijing-based wholly foreign-owned entity (WFOE) company has received full accreditation status from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the state agency of the Chinese government that regulates the Internet from within China. TLD Registry has now joined the shortlist of among the first foreign new generic top level domain (new gTLD) registry’s to achieve this status.
The accreditation means that TLD Registry’s .在线 and .中文网 domain extensions are legally recognized by MIIT, which allows Chinese citizens and organizations the ability to obtain an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license that must be displayed in the footer of any website hosted within China using the extension(s). This is significant in being able to host a website from within China, as it greatly reduces the risk of getting blocked or shut down without notification due to the lack of a valid ICP license. It also means that foreign companies who wish to market their products and services on a website within China will experience much faster access to their sites by Chinese citizens, due to their websites now having the option of resolving from a host inside of China, thus bypassing the firewall and other latency issues that can block access and sales. ICP licenses are only granted if the utilized domain extension is accredited by MIIT.
The ability to register .在线 and .中文网 and host a website legally from within China effectively provides a linguistically correct and culturally relevant alternative for a population of nearly 1.4 billion people (of which 721 million are internet users) and the largest e-commerce market in the world.
“Receiving MIIT’s accreditation is one of the greatest milestones we’ve achieved as a China market focused business,” said Arto Isokoski, CEO of TLD Registry. “SMB’s, corporations, startups, brand protection agencies, investors, and anyone else in China who wishes to use one of our domain extensions for their website can now do so with ease and official approval.”
Several foreign registry operators have been vying to obtain the coveted MIIT accreditation due to China’s massive and lucrative market, however they must endure a rigorous and timeconsuming process.
Some of the steps required for foreign registries to become compliant with MIIT’s regulations and move closer to receiving the accreditation includes incorporating a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) in China, providing Real Name Verification (known as “VSP” in China) for all registrations from mainland Chinese citizens or organizations processed by Registrars based in China, and providing Chinese-specific data escrow services.
“Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website are fully-Chinese domain extensions that demonstrate a commitment to Chinese audiences,” Isokoski said. “The massive and growing population of internet users in China now have another choice to legally host their website using a domain name in their own native language.”
TLD Registry’s newly acquired accreditation immediately places .在线 and .中文网 in a competitive position within the marketplace of just 30 other legally recognized domain extensions in China. The accreditation provides TLD Registry and its Registrar distribution channel inside of China with the ability to now aggressively promote its TLDs to various mainland Chinese audiences — from direct selling premium names to corporations, to the implementation of digital marketing programs to attract SMB’s, brand protection agencies, domain investors, and everyday consumers.
The new legal status of .在线 and .中文网 in the China marketplace establishes immediate trust and credibility with Chinese consumers, as well as optimism for the future of Chinese internationalized domain names and how they are viewed by Chinese regulators. TLD Registry is one of the first new gTLD Chinese IDN registry operators to receive full accreditation status to date.